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The Celestial Conundrum: Echoes of Time's Embrace

  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Author: @kevin
  • Chapters: 6
  • Status: Ongoing
  • Age Rating: 18+
  • 👁 2
  • 5.0
  • 💬 0

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Amidst the mysterious threads of time, Li Shaokun, a troubled soul, discovers an enigmatic phone that allows him to alter fate. Each use exacts a toll on his well-being, plunging him into a nightmarish spiral. Desperate to undo the tragedies befalling his life, he confronts the source of his misery—Yao Ping. However, as he hurtles through time, Li Shaokun encounters unexpected consequences, his actions unraveling a destiny intertwined with chaos. Returning to a dilapidated home, Li Shaokun contemplates the phone's impact on his existence. The eccentric old beggar's warnings echo in his mind—each use distorts his physical and emotional state. A pivotal realization strikes—Yao Ping is the origin of his misfortune, not the night of the gruesome murder. Determined to rewrite history, Li Shaokun embarks on a perilous journey. With each temporal leap, the phone's side effects intensify, tormenting Li Shaokun. A brutal attack further complicates his quest, leaving him battered and broken. A compassionate stranger aids him, sparking an unexpected camaraderie. As Li Shaokun grapples with the consequences of meddling with time, he stumbles upon a peculiar prophecy—an impending calamity threatening a church. In a twist of fate, a meteor descends, fulfilling the beggar's ominous prediction. Li Shaokun, now on the brink of disappearance, laughs defiantly, realizing the inescapable ties of destiny. The narrative unfolds on Christmas Eve, where Li Shaokun's actions shape an unpredictable future. The novel, a kaleidoscope of time, explores the complexities of human nature, destiny's immutable course, and the haunting echoes of choices made. A tale that transcends temporal boundaries, inviting readers into a realm where the threads of fate unravel and intertwine in unforeseen ways.

Chapter 1

In the dim alley, the circuitry of the street lamp, aged and worn, flickered intermittently, causing a discomforting strain on the eyes.

Amidst the intense gasps, a pungent aroma of blood permeated...

"Heh, hehe..."

The man's shoulders trembled, a sense of relief washing over him, as if he had just breathed a long sigh, standing upright.

The brick he had held in his hand had slipped away, casually discarded on the ground. The side of the brick facing downward was stained with blood and indistinct bits of flesh. The person he had pinned beneath him remained motionless, the visage obscured by a mass of blood and flesh, a result of being bludgeoned to death. Initially, the sounds of the victim's struggle were audible, but now, the entire alley fell into an eerie silence.

Li Shaokun sensed the growing numbness in his limbs, and he dared not move. The remnants of his rationality compelled him to hold his breath, attempting to minimize his presence. He realized... he was witnessing a murder just ahead at the alley's entrance.

The aging street lamp above continued to flicker. Li Shaokun took a slow, deep breath, trying to regain some sensation in his frozen limbs. The inhalation of the overpowering scent of blood nearly made him retch.

The man on top of the victim ahead suddenly moved. Slowly turning in Li Shaokun's direction...

Li Shaokun felt his breath catch, and at that moment, with a sharp click, the only dim and flickering street lamp above him went out completely, just as the man turned his head toward him.

In the extinguished light, plunging into complete and silent darkness, Li Shaokun seemed to... lock eyes with the eyes concealed beneath the dark hoodie that had just been lifted.

No, no, no, he couldn't be sure if the other person had truly seen him, just as he couldn't be certain if they had really made eye contact moments ago.

Faintly, he seemed to hear the sound of the person getting up, and he couldn't wait any longer...

In the darkness, Li Shaokun, his face pale, trembled as he took two steps backward and swiftly turned around. He had to run, and the farther, the better!

"Li Shaokun..."

At that moment, just as Li Shaokun fled in panic, his footsteps suddenly froze. He heard that hoarse and unpleasant voice from behind, a distance away but unmistakably clear. Those three words felt like someone had pierced his eardrums with a needle, resounding clearly. The murderer had recognized him. He recognized him. It was as if someone held his tightly wound nerves, crushing them into powder, extracting pure fear. With that raspy, unpleasant, and chillingly accurate voice, the murderer uttered his name.

Li Shaokun dared not look back, running for his life, desperate to escape from this place.

Li Shaokun sat on the chair, holding a paper cup in his hand. The hand gripping the cup trembled, and his gaze was fixed, devoid of focus. He mumbled throughout the night, "He knows me, he recognized me..."

Fortunately, Yao Ping had been accompanying him all along.

Several people passed by him, and Li Shaokun was sure they were talking about him, expressing displeasure at his interference.

Though the night shift police officers did not openly accuse him of meddling, after the initial reception and brief conversation, Li Shaokun was left sidelined with no guidance on what to do next.

It wasn't until just before dawn when an older police officer arrived. He glanced at Li Shaokun, finding it peculiar, and inquired, "Hasn't this person left yet? I remember he was here when I left last night. He's been here all night?"

Before anyone else could respond to the older police officer's words, a few people gathered around him: "How did things go last night?"

"Sigh, don't mention it. Busy all night without sleep. There's been a case of a woman living alone near Gulou who died. Preliminary judgment is that she died on Christmas Eve night, unnoticed for a day and night. When found, her right index finger had been broken. The special task force has taken over. It's bizarre; the details and the modus operandi are similar to an unsolved case from years ago... That case still hasn't been solved." The older police officer glanced at Li Shaokun and Yao Ping, shifting the topic. "Enough about this. What about them? If there's nothing, let them go."

Only then did a young police officer, looking helpless, spread his hands, "Ask him. Last night, when he reported the case, he insisted on witnessing a murder on North Changle Road. It doesn't make sense. We told him to leave, but he refused. Don't you believe it? Come, I'll ask him a few questions, and you'll see."

With that, the young police officer led the older one toward Li Shaokun. Seeing that the hot water in the paper cup in Li Shaokun's hand had long gone cold, and he hadn't taken a sip, the young officer frowned. He poured a new cup of hot water for Li Shaokun and handed it to him, saying, "You said last night you witnessed a murder on North Changle Road? When did this happen?"

Li Shaokun, who hadn't slept all night, responded slowly, raising his head stiffly. The water in his cup had been replenished with hot water, yet he still felt extremely cold. After a while, he replied in a dazed manner, "Last night, around, around 2345, I suppose..."

North Changle Road is an old and dilapidated alley, with many facilities aging along with it. Even the surveillance camera has been broken for almost half a year, and no one has bothered to fix it. Generally, at this late hour, no one would take that route.

"So late, why weren't you sleeping at home? What were you doing on that night road alone?"

"I, I was working overtime... The company recently introduced a new product, and to prepare a sales proposal, I've been working continuously for over a month. When I left the company last night, it was already past eleven. My house is rented near the company, less than a twenty-minute walk away. "His frozen hands and feet seemed to slowly regain some sensation.

Li Shaokun remembered that when he finished preparing the sales proposal and was about to go home, he specifically checked his phone. Therefore, he was certain of the time, around 11:30 at night. So, when he walked to North Changle Road, close to home, it was probably around 23:45.

At that time, he checked his phone just to confirm whether his girlfriend, Taotao, had replied to his message. As expected, Taotao didn't reply to him, and the last chat record remained at the message he sent to Taotao at noon, apologizing that he might have to work overtime and wouldn't be able to spend Christmas with her.

Taotao probably got upset... It was too late, so he dismissed the idea of calling Taotao and went home directly.

"I saw that person commit murder, and then, then I ran for my life." Li Shaokun, with a stiff neck, seemed to recall something. He urgently raised his head, "By the way, when I was escaping, I heard him call my name. The murderer called out my name; he knows me, the murderer knows me..."

"Stay calm," the police officer tried to reassure him.

"Yes, last night, I was waiting at Manager Li's door. When Manager Li ran back, his face didn't look right. I was afraid something happened to him, so I accompanied him to report the case." Yao Ping, an honest middle-aged man, spoke up, confirming what he had witnessed last night.

"So late, why were you going to his house?" The police officer turned to Yao Ping.

Li Shaokun's emotions seemed to be gradually recovering. With a pale face, he explained on his behalf, "The original plan was to meet with a client today. Last night, my colleague was supposed to bring the factory samples to me. Later, Master Yao ran to the factory and came back late. I asked him to deliver the samples directly to my home."

When he received Yao Ping's call, he had just left the company. At that time, he found it strange that Yao Ping, who had taken leave for the day due to feeling unwell, called him so late. Nevertheless, he still answered the call.

Yao Ping apologized to Li Shaokun on the phone, saying that he should have delivered the samples to the company before leaving. However, it was a bit far from the hospital after he came out, and it took some time. The factory was in the suburban area of the city, and there was no shuttle bus when he returned at night, so he ended up being so late.

In terms of hierarchy, Li Shaokun was still one level higher than Yao Ping. However, Yao Ping had been an old employee of the company for three years. When Li Shaokun first joined, Yao Ping was his mentor. When answering the phone, Li Shaokun still habitually addressed him as "Master," expressing his concern, "Master, weren't you unwell today? How could you go to the factory so late? Coming back and forth from such a distance, can you get enough rest? I asked Xiao Guo to remind you about the samples, didn't I?"

Yao Ping was a kind-hearted person, and Li Shaokun had known that since he first arrived. Sure enough, Yao Ping turned around and advised him, "It's okay, it's a small matter. If I can help a little, it's a help. Besides, after leaving the hospital in the morning, I had nothing to do at home. Xiao Guo said something came up suddenly, so I went on his behalf..."

Later, Li Shaokun had Yao Ping directly bring the samples to his doorstep, saving him another trip to the company.

"Get to the point, start with the phone call you received." The young police officer interrupted Li Shaokun

's words, reminding him to start with that phone call.

That phone call occurred after he hung up on Yao Ping. Li Shaokun cleared his throat and, upon reflection, found that everything that happened throughout the night was strange.

"Yes, that phone call... After I hung up on Master Yao's call, I received a... strange call." Li Shaokun shivered as he recounted, bringing the hot water to his mouth after not moving all night. At this moment, he felt parched, "Initially, I thought Master Yao had something else to say. Without much thought, I answered it directly. However, I 'hello'ed for a long time... No one spoke on the other end, just a noisy electrical sound."

Then he felt something was amiss, looked at the caller ID, and found out it wasn't Yao Ping's call. What was even stranger was that he didn't know when his phone display started showing a jumble of characters...

"Working until so late, I was very tired, so I got a bit annoyed. I asked who it was, and if they didn't speak, I was going to hang up."

The other end of the phone continued with the noisy electrical sound, and still, no one spoke. Li Shaokun cursed, "Nuts," and was about to hang up.

Just as he was about to hang up, a hysterical roar suddenly came from the other end of the phone...

"What was he shouting?" The police officer asked him again.

"He yelled, 'Turn around immediately, don't take that road, don't take North Changle Road!'" Li Shaokun raised his head, imitating the voice from the phone. "At that time, I was on... North Changle Road."

He still remembered that when he heard the roar, his whole body involuntarily shivered. The foot he had stepped forward subconsciously retracted because when he raised his head, the sign that read "North Changle Road" happened to be right in front of him.

Chapter 2

He did not refrain from harboring suspicions that someone might be tailing him; otherwise, the series of events would be overly coincidental. However, it was too late at the time, and besides him, there was no one on the road.

Uncertain if it was due to the inherently cold weather, Li Shaokun felt a slight chill in his hands and feet. About to inquire further, the call abruptly ended on the other end, and even the piercing electrical noise vanished...

Nonsensical.

Is this a prank?

He consoled himself in this manner. He had walked this path countless times, and so he didn't think much of it... But, perhaps due to the psychological impact of that phone call, he couldn't shake off a slight shadow. Today, the alley seemed exceptionally dark to him, with the streetlights flickering, casting a particularly yellowish hue. Occasionally, they dimmed as if on the verge of a breakdown.

"Later, I heard footsteps beh

Heroes

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